Sunday, August 31, 2008


by Celia Rees

In the year 1794 rich and beautiful Sovay has no real concerns until her betrothed betrays her with a chambermaid. Taking the matter into her own hands, she dresses in men’s clothes, stops James’ coach, and orders him to “Stand and deliver!” Enjoying the excitement, Sovay continues her daring robberies—not for the money, but the power over men. Taking a step too far, Sovay robs Sir Royston, one of England’s most influential men. Before she knows it she is thrown into tangled plots that involve both England and France, her family and her enemies, the weak and the powerful.

Having loved Pirates!, devoured Witch Child, and liked Sorceress, I expected to really enjoy Sovay, but regrettably it did not live up to my hopes.
First of all, I’m not sure why Ms. Rees based the story or character off the Sovay in the folksong, as with the exception of the very start, Sovay’s story had nothing to do with daring hold-ups and escapes as the summary and first chapters seemed to promise.
Along with the disjointed plot segments, the character development was not at all realistic; Sovay jumped suddenly from innocent girl into the role of legendary highwayman, then back to a lady, then to determined young woman. It was as if the author couldn’t decide to write a romanticized story of a highwayman’s life, or a gritty and realistic description of la Terreur.
The last quarter or so of the novel, after it had smoothed out to the terrors of the Revolution, was my favorite, but it didn’t quite make up for the rest of the book.


  1. Hmm sorry you didn't enjoy this so much. I wasn't a big fan of Witch Child but did enjoy Sorceress (or was it the other way around?!).

  2. My thoughts were kind of the same about this one. And I really liked Pirates! The cover of this one looked so good too...

  3. You write such honest reviews, in such a kind way.

    That is a talent, one to be revered.

  4. I think I would really like this one despite your reservations. Want to do a link exchange?

  5. Thanks for the comment on my Sovay review and for adding me to your blogroll! I do tend to get a bit wordy...maybe I should post a short and long version :) I had so much hope for Sovay but it wasn't to be. I will definitely still check out Celia Rees' future books.

  6. Aw, I hate to hear this. I'll have to read a few more reiews on it before I decide though. Thanks for the honest opinion!


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